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Vol 6 Issue 10



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Dear reader, you will know that we are tracking the progress of the biggest graphene companies in the world. Levidian is the biggest on paper with their announced £700 million ($780 m USD) contract with the UAE (vol 6 iss 6 p.26).
The other company is Skeleton Technologies who make graphene enhanced supercapacitors for transport systems. They have been making steady progress over the past few years and have now announced a new €220 million ($215 m USD) super factory that will open in Germany in 2024. This will give the company an order of magnitude increase in production capacity (p.32 of this issue). Skeleton have also announced they have been awarded the contract to supply supercapacitors for the latest metro units in the Spanish city of Grenada (p.22).
Further industrial progress is being made in the USA. Cardea Bio is a manufacturer of graphene field effect transistor biosensors. Essentially these are lab-on-a-chip devices that will give an instant read out of medical conditions from a sample of body fluids. The company has mastered the art of mass production and its factories can produce up to 20,000 graphene sensors per month. They also report that next year they will have produced their millionth biosensor. This company is shaping up to be a formidable presence in the graphene biosensor market.
On the research and technical side, there has been much progress in the quality control of graphene. Terrance Barkan convened a webinar of metrology experts from world class institutions in the UK, USA and South America. The Raman spectroscopy masterclass is well worth viewing if you need to understand how the quality of graphene is measured by this technique and its limitations (p.15).
By coincidence this month researchers in India have developed a new technique for reliably measuring the number of layers of graphene in a sample. Rather than use an expensive raman spectrometer, they have found a much cheaper optical microscope can provide similar information (p.17).
In the UK, researchers have published a literature review of sustainable fibres for polymer composites. The work clearly shows why sustainable natural fibres are not being adopted to replace synthetic fibres. Natural fibres are an order of magnitude weaker than their synthetic counterparts. There is room for optimism though. The study shows that graphene can enhance the strength of natural fibres in polymer composites and shows there is one primary candidate natural fibre that, with graphene, just might challenge the supremacy of synthetic fibres (p.18).
You can find out about this and much more in this fascinating issue. Dear reader, I invite you to read on…
Adrian Nixon
1st October 2022